The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Co-operative and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development, Simon Chelugui, has reaffirmed the government’s dedication to promoting the pivotal role of SACCOs in fostering financial inclusion across Kenya.

Speaking at the conclusion of the 9th Annual SACCO Leaders Convention in Mombasa, CS Chelugui underscored the historical significance of cooperatives in facilitating financial access, particularly for the unbanked population, while also promoting financial literacy and resilience.

Highlighting the multifaceted contributions of SACCOs, CS Chelugui emphasized their role in facilitating access to Affordable Housing and essential services, thereby ensuring that every Kenyan is included in the nation’s journey towards progress. He emphasized the government’s recognition of cooperatives as key drivers in realizing the BETA Agenda.

In alignment with this commitment, the government has introduced several legal amendments aimed at enhancing the efficiency and stability of the cooperative sector. Notably, the SACCO Societies Act seeks to bolster short-term liquidity through inter-borrowing mechanisms and improved access to central payment systems. Additionally, the establishment of a Deposit Guarantee Fund aims to instill confidence among SACCO members.

CS Chelugui highlighted the significance of the Cooperative Act, which will facilitate the development of prudential regulations tailored to startups and small SACCOs. These measures aim to enhance financial stability within the cooperative movement and will be enforced by county governments.

Moreover, the government is actively working towards bringing all cooperatives undertaking withdrawable deposits under the regulatory framework of the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), ensuring uniform standards of financial security.

Recognizing the pivotal role of SACCOs in driving economic growth, CS Chelugui affirmed the government’s commitment to supporting the productive sector through cooperative interventions across various value chains. These efforts are complemented by the establishment of a conducive policy and legal framework to foster sustainability and growth.

In closing, CS Chelugui commended SACCO leaders for their dedication to advancing sustainable development and inclusive economic growth. He reiterated the government’s acknowledgment of cooperatives as agents of unity and collaboration, empowering Kenyans to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities for shared prosperity.

Arnold Munene, Acting Managing Director of the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (KUSCCO), encouraged SACCOs to embrace data-driven approaches to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within their operations, while also advocating for increased representation of women in leadership positions.

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